Thailand is an amazing country with a beautiful culture and best food (we are a bit biased:)! As well, all nationalities are most welcome in this ‘Land of Smiles.’ This is one of the main reasons that foreigners fall in love with Thailand pretty easily. While you are here, you should keep in mind that like other countries in the world, Thailand also has some specific cultural etiquette that you should bear in mind. So, instead of telling you what NOT to do, let’s look at a few our suggested things you SHOULD do while spending time here?
DO KEEP CALM AND TALK GENTLY
Thais are a very tolerant and fun loving people. While you are in Thailand, you might notice that most people are soft-spoken, gentle and do not raise their voice often. It is respectful to also adopt this nature and tone when here. Behaving respectfully, as the Thais do, you will surely notice that you are respected equally in return. We say, just ‘keep calm and enjoy Thailand.’
DO DRESS PROPERLY
In general, Thais dress more on the modest side and therefore are not used to some less-clad Western ways of dressing. Despite the heat, Thais are often well-covered. You will not see anyone walking around shirtless or in a bikini here, and it is most polite to follow suit. If you are visiting Thai temples, do make sure you dress properly, including long shorts that cover the knees, or pants, covered shoulders and even closed shoes when visiting the Grand Palace. It’s best to save the short shorts, bikinis and crop tops for the beach.
DO WAI TO THE ELDERS
The Wai (traditional greeting of a slight bow with palms pressed together) with Sawasdee Ka/Khrap is the way that Thais greet each other. If someone Wais to you, you do it back in return. This gesture of respect is initiated by the younger person, towards those who are older. So, if you want to really please the locals and fit in, try it. If you meet someone younger or the same age as you, a simple verbal greeting will suffice.
DO FOLLOW THE QUEUE
Despite the environment seeming chaotic, especially in Bangkok, Thais strictly follow the queueing system, out of respect and fairness to each other. From immigration to hospitals you will notice that they stand in the queue and wait for their turn. Even if you want to call a bike taxi in a crowded place, you may experience Thais waiting for the bikes standing in a queue. So you have to wait, just follow those ahead of you, stand accordingly and politely and wait for your turn.
DO TAKE OFF YOUR SHOES
Always take off your shoes before entering a temple or any other religious places you visit. If you visit any Thai relatives or friend’s home, follow the same.
Thais love to smile and they love to see others smiling, as well. When you are in Thailand, smile! It will help you to fit in more with the locals and surely get you many new friends!
…and enjoy your time in Thailand- the Land of Smiles!